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The Right to Repair Coalition submitted 16,000 signatures to the Massachusetts secretary of state to secure the consumer-driven "Right to Repair" initiative’s place on the November 2012 ballot.

This important step comes as intense efforts by the coalition to pass compromise legislation (with the blessing of the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association) continue on Beacon Hill. This month, after a compromise bill passed the Senate, Massachusetts new car dealers joined consumers, repairers and the Right to Repair Coalition in support of the initiative.

If the compromise legislation comes up short, it will be up to the voters to decide its final fate.

The Right to Repair measure would “require a manufacturer of motor vehicles sold in the Commonwealth to make available for purchase by owners of motor vehicles... and by independent repair facilities the same diagnostic and repair information, including repair technical updates that the manufacturer makes available to its dealers and authorized repair facilities...”

“Although we are still willing to come to a legislative compromise with the big car manufacturers, delivering these signatures today ensures that one way or another, Massachusetts consumers will soon be able to take their vehicle where they want for repair and maintenance,” says the Right to Repair Coalition's Art Kinsman.

According to the coalition, auto manufacturers provide only some of the diagnostic and safety information needed to repair vehicle owners’ cars with independent technicians, limiting consumers’ choices and losing business for neighborhood repair shops.

“We will continue to work with the legislature to find a compromise that would bring relief to consumers before the November ballot,” says Kinsman. “Above all, this a pro-consumer initiative, and we are committed to bringing a fair and strong Right to Repair bill to the people of Massachusetts.”

Enthusiasm for the initiative helped Right to Repair easily surpass the required 11,000 signatures required to put the issue on the November ballot and deliver cost savings and convenience to the Massachusetts motoring public. This final signature batch is in addition to the 100,000-plus signatures gathered last fall and earlier this year.

For more information, check out these links:

"Right to Repair bill jumps first hurdle."

"A signature victory for Right to Repair."

"Mass. dealers, coalition agree on Right to Repair."

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